I contacted my old school to see if I could speak at an assembly about my journey from blogger to author.
I’d just booked a stall to sell copies of Shop Girl Diaries at their Christmas market but I knew I wouldn’t sell many if no one knew anything about it.
The date was set for the 29th November.
The time: 8 am.
When the day arrived, there was a massive tube strike.
I got up at 6am to find all my tights had vanished.
The only tights I could find had fake suspenders outlined on them.
I pulled them up anyway, believing my skirt would hide the sexy pattern.
My local station was closed so I ended up having to take two buses and a tube to get there.
I was running late and phoned the head mistress to warn her.
“We’ll sing a hymn or something,” she said.
As I strode towards the school building I noticed with horror that my inappropriate tights were very visible.
I jumped the toilet queue as soon as I got there and yanked up my tights so hard I ripped them.
I couldn’t believe it. How on earth could I walk into a room of two hundred girls aged 10 to 18 wearing ripped suspender tights?
I took off my boots, pulled off my tights and hurried into assembly with bare legs.
On a raised stage I looked out across a room filled with girls dressed in blue.
Once I’d been one of them in that same uniform. Would I have been eager to listen to an author?
I like to think so.
We sang a lively hymn and one of the girls read out a prayer. There was such a positive vibe that despite my nerves and cold legs I felt happy to be there.
There was a lectern for my notes which gave me great comfort.
The lights dimmed and I showed my first picture.
It was a photo of me in my St James’ school uniform when I was 4 years old, writing on a slanted board that we used to use.
I relaxed pretty quickly and enjoyed telling my story.
“Fantastic,” my head mistress whispered when I’d finished and I felt really chuffed.
She continued her support after the assembly by lending me some tights.
It was impressive how many back-up tights she had; clearly the mark of a successful woman.
The Christmas Market took place on the following Sunday.
Petra and I spread out sparking crystals, little brass ornaments and of course, my books, on our stall.
Our prices suited a child’s pocket money and we had lots of little people pleased to be able to buy little brass baskets and sparkly beads.
The Fiancé stood close by cheekily bullying parents into buying my book.
I squirmed as he did it but I couldn’t complain as he got great results.
By the end of the day I wheeled my suitcase home 18 books lighter!
*Thank you St James School and all those who wished me real good luck by buying my book!